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EU on Peace Calls for Reconciliation

EU Diplomats with David Shearer (2nd right), UNMISS Chief joins EU during the commemoration (photo by Woja Emmanuel Woja):

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

The European Union in South Sudan has called for hearty reconciliation among the parties to the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

The Revitalized Agreement was signed on 12th September in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa bringing to an end a five and half year old conflict in the country.

The remarks were made yesterday at the European Union compound in Juba while commemorating the act of remembrance marking the 100th centenary anniversary of the armistice (The end of First World War One).

The event was attended by diplomats from different EU country representatives such as France, Britain, the Federal Republic of Germany, the American Embassy and other African Ambassadors to South Sudan also attended the event.

The German Ambassador to South Sudan, Jan Hendrik Van Thiel said that the country needed to learn from the First World War atrocities and embrace peace.

He said the leaders should consider active reconciliation so that the real work begins.

“South Sudan needs to learn lesson from the WW1 atrocious war, we were killing one another in the most discriminative brutal way,” the German ambassador said.  “The message of this day to South Sudan is to overcome hatred, antagonism like us and fight for common destiny,” Thiel said yesterday.

Lt Col. Mark Hughes the Defence Attaché for the British Embassy in Juba said that the anniversary was a reflection to the conflict in South Sudan adding that the Country has an important lesson to learn from the First World War.

“The lessons we share is that World War One was a very bitter campaign between the enemies; millions of people, soldiers died in all sides and the same with the conflict in South Sudan. People need to learn from their ability to remember and commemorate in order to bring lessons of peace to South Sudan,” Hughes said yesterday.

World War I began in 1914, after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

He was shot to death along with his wife Sophie by the Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip on June 28, 1914. Princip and other nationalists were struggling to end Austro-Hungarian rule over Bosnia and Herzegovina and lasted until 1918.

During the conflict, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire (the Central Powers) fought against Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Romania, Japan and the United States (the Allied Powers). New military technologies and the horrors of trench warfare, World War I saw unprecedented levels of carnage and destruction. By the time the war was over and the Allied Powers claimed victory, more than 16 million people-soldiers and civilians alike were dead.

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